Made in Abyss arguably has the best opening episode this season. The episode does a perfect job of instilling wonder, world building, and cast introduction without excessive info dumps. It also helps that the art looks fantastic.

Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss is based on a manga – one that fans promise will tell a dark story despite the soft art style. While being dark doesn’t equate to a good story, you can see some hints at the future danger our kids will face.

It’s impressive how the premiere was able to radiate a magical feeling that created a Studio Ghibli style of wonder. The story takes place in a city built around the opening of an unexplored abyss. Explorers are drawn to the location despite the hostile creatures that live there.

Made in Abyss

Our protagonists are a group of orphans. Riko is their spunky leader, and she wants to become a great cave raider in hopes of catching up with her missing mother. Nat and Shiggy are her two accomplices that also get into trouble with her. Finally, we meet Reg, who is an amnesiac boy that doesn’t realize he is a robot.

One of the great things about the opening episode is that everything feels natural. Characters don’t have awkward introductions nor do they waste time “re-explaining” the world to everyone. Made in Abyss drip feeds information through background and natural dialogue.

Made in Abyss

Simple looking shots are packed with visual information that tells us that abyss raiding is often times fatal. The muted colors and weathered architecture gives off a subtle sense of dread, which hints that the citizens may no longer want to explore the abyss due to high fatality rate. The fact that orphans are being trained as raiders also hints that things aren’t quite right.

Despite all this, you still get the feeling of wonder thanks to Riko’s spunk. Riko’s enthusiasm is contagious, and we share her need to explore the great unknown.

Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss has the signs of being a great adaptation. Just enough information was shared about the setting and cast to spark interest, which will leave non-manga fans wondering about what will happen next episode.

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I grew up traveling around the world with my parents who practice and teach medicine. We spent 6 years in South Asia, including Japan, and my anime obsession began there. Sports, horror, and Seinen are my favorite genres. Favorite quote: "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." by William James
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1 COMMENT

  1. “Deathly Studio Ghibli?” That’s the best description I’ve heard of it yet! Plus the way the kids talk about events and how some big moments drop without anyone acting shocked is incredible. These kids grew up in this different world and are young, they don’t have another baseline to compare life with. I’m a stickler for really good character development and realistic character behavior and this show has an A+ in both spots.

    Also the Japanese voice acting is very, very good. I could go on about this and I probably should. I could close my eyes and have an easy time telling the characters apart. Nobody is an annoying ear irritation, and the dialouge is thought out very well. I am not the kind of person who likes subs (and I can name better ones like the show Wakfu) but this is still very good.

    (I’ve only seen up to ep5 but this is derived from the first two-three episodes.)

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